Story by Charlie Crowley, Sports Intern
Photo courtesy of Andris Visockis
When spring break rolls around, most college students find themselves making their way to someplace warmer – Daytona, South Padre, and Miami, to name a few. Over spring break this year, Aquinas College’s men’s tennis team made the trek down to Orlando, Florida, to kick their spring season into full gear.
The weather was warm, but the team was scorching, going a perfect 7-0 over the course of their stay. The team now sits at 14-3 as they prepare for league play. Although the trip was relatively smooth sailing, the Saints, ranked nationally at #19, made a statement against the Knights of Marian University, ranked #25, with a 6-3 win. The Saints went 5-1 in singles with the lone loss at #3 singles, and a win by Damon Johnson and Chase Peery at #2 doubles helped sweeten the victory.
The Saints are coming off a strong year last year in which they finished second in the Wolverine Hoosier Athletic Conference. They also have the benefit of not graduating anyone last year. Senior Kristoff Saari will retain his number one singles position that he played at last year, where he received 2nd team All-American honors. Saari is one of three seniors on the team, joined by Andy Struble and Damon Johnson, a transfer from Vanguard University in California. Struble and Johnson will help bring veteran leadership to the squad while also bringing skill to play in the number two and number three singles role as well. Junior Gunnar Peery also brings two years of college tennis under his belt, and his brother Chase, a freshman, will bring in skill after being named all state last year as a senior in high school. Sophomores Will Buurma, Ryan Fedewa, and Kenny Garstecki will look to build off of their freshman years as well.
The Saints have a month and a half to polish up their game for the WHAC championships which will be held at the end of April here in Grand Rapids. The Saints’ next home match will be on March 19 against the University of Saint Francis (IL) at 1:30.
About the writer…
Charlie Crowley is a junior studying communication and journalism.He is The Saint‘s Sports Intern and future Sports Editor. He spends most of his time playing hockey, sleeping, eating, and on Reddit. He’s also a Hoosier, and proud of it, but can’t hit the open three to save his life.